Friday, March 25, 2005

Phallic Technology

Today's post isn't about wireless technology, but wired -- more specifically, about switches (and I'm not talking networking technologies). What in Hades am I talking about? The Pomlazka. The preferred weapon of choice that Czech males utilize against their female counterparts to celebrate Velikonoce (Easter/Ostara). On Velikonoce, any fair young maiden is fair game ... a whack on the butt to help her get pregnant. The pomlazka represents the phallic symbol, the "ribbons" symbolizing the regenerative force in nature (ie... sperm). While most Czechs seemingly don't know these details (I'm not only a wireless freak .... I do have other hobbies :-), what they DO know is that on Easter they get to chase women and whack'em. It's fun, too ... you can do it in packs ... or, sniper style. Whatever the case, if you're lucky enough to find a female walking around (they're not stupid, they know what day to stay indoors), and you whack her, she's supposed to give you a colored egg in return (obviously a return fertility symbol). Of course, whacking people is generally done in villages, where people at least know your family -- don't try it in the big cities, as I did ... I didn't get an egg in return, I got something verbal.

Whatever the case, Christian, pagan, or any other variety in between, but sure to send the folks you like a "Happy Ostara/Easter/Velikonoce" via SMS (see, the wireless bent to this post) -- Spring time has arrived, it's time to pull the sandals out from their long winter hibernation ...

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Ad-Hoc Social Networking: Jambo

I have obviously plugged the Ad-Hoc Social Networking application scene out there a few times (and even threw my own company's hat into the ring) -- MobiLuck, ProxiDating, CrowdSurfer -- up until now have all been Bluetooth wireless technology based solutions. However, Jambo Networks is the first (that I know of) solution that uses Wi-Fi to search for and interact with other Jambo users with this wireless standard.

As with the previously mentioned Bluetooth solutions, the premise is still the same: Network with people in your immediate area (in the case of Wi-Fi, other people can be more than 100m away): get their interests, find out their marital status, and basically find an easier way to hook up with somebody (either for personal or business reasons) in your immediate area.

My problem with Wi-Fi vs. Bluetooth in these ad-hoc solutions is that phones are not Wi-Fi enabled generally, and therefore you're more dependant upon PDAs (which I guess is fine) or notebooks. Not everybody has a PDA or Notebook, but almost everybody has a phone. Additionally, those with notebooks are generally not going have their notebooks up and running while walking down the street or hanging out at a bar or club. Therefore, wide spread use is going to be a bit more limited (in their demos, they have a university as an ideal spot, and to this I agree ... in the library it would be useful, or to hook up with all of those fine chicks in your Computer Science classes, if you know what I mean ... :p).

Let me know if anybody can download it -- what I hate MORE THAN ANYTHING is to go to some site, and then have to sign up before I can get any application (I think) ... I won't be signing up anytime soon ...

[ Technorati Tags: Bluetooth wi-fi Jambo
Ad-Hoc Proximity ]

Thursday, March 17, 2005

ADSL or Cable?

Well, I'm moving into a plusher flat, finally, after 2 years of living in a human hamster box (38m2) ... so, I may be a little quiet the next few days, as I'll be moving and migrating my Cable connection over to the new flat ... you'd be amazed how hard this can be.

In Prague, the real estate people are just now getting a clue on how to sell flats via "Ooh, this flat has bandwidth." Generally, before I go see a flat, I know which street it's on so I look up the address on cable provider's site to see if I can get broadband over cable ... it's not so easy, as it's not available everywhere -- so, I generally LOOK for flats on such streets (doesn't mean the building/house has been wired up, though). If I don't see cable, then I have to back up to ADSL -- and I can generally only check this if I have the phone number of the flat (or one in that building) ... a common run through looks like this:

Me (in mangled Czech): Does this flat have cable?

Realitor: It has SAT TV.

Me: No, no, I don't care about TV -- I need cable Internet.

Realitor: Why, you have a phone for Dial-up

Me: Dial-up sucks ass (ok, I don't say that) ... No, dial-up is very slow, I need a broadband connection

Realitor: What's that?

Me: Does this flat have cable?

You get the drift ... now, ADSL is also available, but it's more expensive and slower (and, while available pretty much everywhere, that's still not always the case).

Prices look like this:

Cable: 3mbit Down / 512kbit up = 1500kc (about 67 USD)

ADSL: 1mbit Down / 256kbit up = 2000kc (about 90 USD)

Both generally have a 15-20 GB data limit per month ....

3 times slower and 1/4 more expensive -- f--k that.

This thus means, unlike people who look for flats first, and then worry about that stuff later, my main criterion is: Can I get Cable or ADSL here ... if I can't, no matter how nice and cheap the flat is, they're not getting a sale -- ADSL only flats must be a good deal ... if it has cable, it has a good chance of getting taken by me -- that's just the way it goes ...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Proximity Content Distribution: Kameleon

Well, I was gonna mention these guys a few weeks ago, but just haven't had the time ... it seems like "Proximity Server" solutions are now a dime a dozen in the race -- however, NONE have taken any signifant leap forward in becoming mass deployed. Kameleon is another player who utilizes Bluetooth wireless technology to send out"push" URLs of content. In other words, although they require, like previous solutions, the use of a specific client-side application to receive content, they do nothing more than send out "WAP Push" like URLs of content related to the specific location, and then via your GPRS/EDGE/3G connection, you download the information. Can this then be called a point or proximity server, since it doesn't do a whole lot of serving? Well, that's another issue altogether.

Basically, it works like this -- you see their logo on some billboard (say, some poster promoting the new release of an albulm from your favorite artist) ... you fire up their client application on your phone, and a URL is pushed to your phone via a small "tag" like device hidden in the billboard ... you then click on that pushed URL and your Opera / Native brower opens up on your phone / PDA and you're transported (via GPRS/EDGE/3G) to content relating to that poster -- MP3 sample clip, discography, or a link to buy tickets to their concert coming to town in a few weeks. It's a nice concept. The carrier-tyrants will love it -- it'll help drive up data use on their networks, advertisers will love it, because it gives a more dynamic feeling to their brand/product ... but, will users like it? Will they want to pay those GPRS/EDGE/3G costs to down load a 1mb or so clip? It'd cost about 1 dollar in the Czech Republic -- I know more in the USA and the UK. People generally aren't all that thrilled to PAY for advertising sent to them ... but, as data plans move down in price, and "unlimited" plans come into being (and become cheaper), this just might have a future. Note, I believe Nokia's solution which I previously discussed works in a similar fashion.

Check out Kameleon's site ...

[ Technorati Tags: Bluetooth Wireless Kameleon
Symbian Proximity ]

Thursday, March 10, 2005

CeBIT & Skype: Brass Balls

I'm not going to summerize what's going on at CeBIT (I completely forgot about CeBIT this year -- so, I guess I'm not going ...) but, one post that caught my attention came from Niklas Zennström, CEO and co-founder of Skype ... check out his bold statements: He's got big brass balls ... Now, I thought Jellingspot might make carriers pay for their in-your-face hubris, bullying, and insolence to humanity -- but, looks like Skype is gonna kick'em into the dirt. Just imagine, using Skype via Jellingspot ... that'd be a cool service ... not just notebooks at Hot-Spots, but your mobile phones, via Bluetooth wireless technology, using Skype (and a location's internet connection) to make phone calls ... Hey, Niklas, give me a call ... let's bury the carriers once and for all (unless they get a more cooperative attitude and stop screwing content and applications developers in the mobile world) ....

[ Technorati Tags: Skype CeBIT Jellingspot
VoIP Tyrants ]

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Skype on Symbian: The Killer App

Gotcha! At least, all you RSS feed readers ... I WISH Skype worked on my Series 60 Symbian phone, but as of yet, it's still a no go. I have written them a few times pushing the idea ... if it works on my brother's Pocket PC 2003 powered Dell Axim, why couldn't it work on my N-Gage or P-900, or at least my business partner's Nokia 6630? After all, if bandwidth is the only consideration (my hypothesis), the 6630's EDGE/3G connection should suffice. Here in the Czech Republic, 2 of the 3 carriers offer EDGE, so I have a download rate (not sure on the upload, actually) in theory of 100 - 150kbps, certainly enough for Skype. If Skype wanted to take over the world, getting a client on Symbian, even if it's not as fancy as its desktop brothers, would certainly be the first step in doning so. Skype, what are you waiting for man? If you're not in the know-how to get it done, open up your communication protocol Jabber style, and let the community do it for you ...

Now, would Skype last on your phone -- who knows, carriers most certainly would try to protect "their interest" (but then, at least in the USA, we could sue the hell out of them for blocking the Skype port) ... check out this Oskar (carrier in the Czech Republic) document, which shows you which ports your GPRS/EDGE connection can acess. Obviously, Skype isn't on phones yet, but seemingly, if I try to connect via my EDGE connection (connected to my notebook via Bluetooth wireless technology), can I still access skype? I don't have an EDGE phone, but I'll ask business partner if he can get access via T-Mobile's connection in the Czech Republic -- if not, that's whack. BTW, does anybody know which port Skype run over?

Anyway, in the next few days, I might just set up a petition for people to sign to pressure Skype to go Symbian -- who is with me? :-)

Update: T-Mobile isn't offering EDGE in the Czech Republic until April -- so, I'm gonna have to wait -- anybody else out there have an EDGE connection they can test (via a notebook or something) to see if your carrier will let you use Skype?

[ Technorati Tags: Skype EDGE wireless
Symbian Pocket PC ]

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Using Omea Pro

If you are a information junkie like me, then you probably own a RSS reader, newsgroup reader, use Google a lot, and subscribe to a load news listservs, etc.... if so, then you REALLY need to check out Omea Pro (Disclaimer: I work for JetBrains ... but I'm responsible for ReSharper :-) ) Bias aside, this tool rocks: period. With Omea Pro, you can read/search in your RSS/Atom feeds, Newsgroups, Outlook emails, favorite (bookmarked) webpages, instant messages, and even local files -- and instantly find them. You can even link resources together (associate an IM with an Email, for example), so you can always keep track of your info, heck, it even has an integrated Bloglines tool that allows you to import your subscriptions!

Look, Omea Pro just does way to much for me to blog about -- download a 30-day evaluation copy for free. You can get a "lite" version of Omea ... called Omea Reader, for free (RSS/Newsgroups reader) ... you won't be disappointed.

If you're an early adaptor, try Omea Pro EAP -- the Early Acess Program release. This version rocks the house with a lot of other cool features (create annotations and clippings of webpages, and then organized them into Omea)

Basically, if you have hoards of info, this is THE tool you need to help you manage it - after using it, you'll be hooked. How much you wanna bet?

[ Technorati Tags: RSS Feeds Google Bloglines
organizer Omea Pro ]

Friday, March 04, 2005

'Proximity' (Bluetooth) Social Interacation...

Well, it seems like Peer-2-Peer (P2P) -- or maybe it should now be called Person-2-Person -- proximity social interaction technologies/tools via Bluetooth wireless technology have yet another player in the game. Small Planet's CrowdSurfer follows on the heels of pioneer MobilLuck, and recent addition ProxiDating. The modus operandi of CrowdSurfer is basically the same as MobiLuck and ProxiDating: You install a client-side application on your Bluetooth enabled device (Symbian, Pocket PC, Palm, etc...). This client application allows you to add information about yourself (Single, Male, 28, Hobbies -- basically different types of information that might help you meet somebody interesting - or - get you laid), and then makes that information available to folks within a 10 - 100m area (that's about 30ft - 300ft .... or a football field, to all my fellow Americans out there) that are running a similar client application in search mode.

So, just imagine -- you walk into a bar, your fire up your application, and search for other users ... your phone rings/vibrates, you see that a user "Lisa" is running the same software, you download her profile (if she's allowing it), and it says, "Female, 21, romantic walks, expensive dinners, etc..." and it has a picture of some fine ass chick ... you can basically send her text messages (she's somewhere around you, but you haven't a clue, and neither does she) ... she checks out your profile, thinks you're cute, and sends you a text message (remember, all via Bluetooth -- FREE!) -- meet me by the bar downstairs, I'm blonde, belly ring, tat on the back, and carrying a white (pocket) dog. You get there, and BAM!, you already know a bit about her (that she is gonna break your wallet) ... doesn't matter, you're the man -- no need to drink a few shots before going up to some girl sitting at the end of the bar -- now you can geek your way into her life.

Pretty cool, huh? There is still hope for me yet ...

[ Technorati Tags: Bluetooth Wireless Dating
Symbian Proximity ]

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Beer Moblog

Ok, I think I'm gonna have a new theme once in a while for my Moblog, and the first theme is beer. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't drink that much -- but when I do...ooh, heavenly bliss ... Living in Bohemia, you don't just drink beer -- you drink gold in liquid form. I don't supposed you'll see a whole lot of beer shots from me, but when I have a cold/warm (yes, depends on the beer and bar!) one, I'll try to take a pic -- so you can see -- if you get bored, do the same and upload it to my Moblog -- try to name the type of beer and get a pic of the label -- let's see how many we can get :-)

If you're not of drinking age reading this, well, then, snap your favorite drink anyway ... or snap your pa's beer in the fridge.

I bought a N-Gage QD and got jacked! (Part III)

Well, I got my return number to send my QD back; however, I found the "Certifed Nokia Partner" store that actually had the covers -- same color, and original -- check this out, 80kc (about 3 bucks) for a back cover and 3 bucks for the entire FRONT cover with new screen ... (and I could buy them seperately, but since I had a girlfriend of mine get them for me, I couldn't be sure on the color, so I bought both). So, it set me back 6 dollars -- would have cost me 10 just to send it back to England. Looks like I ain't gotta do that now -- w00t, w00t!

So, I have a QD now, wat up! It was so bloody cheap, I couldn't help myself (I'm a whore for Symbian phones) -- Anybody up for a global match of Pathway To Glory? ;-)